(In an earlier article, we have discussed briefly the principles of an alternative paradigm or science of Matter in the light of a consciousness perspective. This article is a similar attempt in the domain of the science of life)
In modern sciences, “Life sciences” include ecology, environmental sciences and biology. Let us begin with ecology and environmental sciences. All intuitive minds, scientific and non-scientific, have perceived a hidden unity in Nature. But in the new science of ecology, this perception of unity is now beginning to be fully recognized by the scientific mind. Dr. Sharon Malins, a research scientist in neurogenetics and evolutionary medicines, expressing the new ecological perspective, states. “Nothing in our world exists in isolation. We human and animals and plant and microbes are evolving together. Life is an almost impossible assemblage of biology, chemistry and engineering that adds up to a miraculous whole so much greater than the sum of its parts”. Similarly, physicist Fritjof Capra, articulating a new school of thought in ecology called the “Deep Ecology” states that “it is rooted in a perception of reality that goes beyond the scientific framework to an intuitive awareness of the oneness of all life, in interdependence of its multiple manifestation and its cycles of change and transformation”.
In biology we have the momentous discovery of DNA or the Gene as the ultimate unit of life or to the more specific, biological matter. If the DNA is ultimately made of subatomic particles which form an interdependent unity and if there is a similar unity at the biological Nature as a whole perceived by ecology, there must be a same kind of unity at the genetic level. Biologists talk about the common “genepool” but it must be something much more than that.
Discoveries of the Science of Consciousness
Let us now examine what the masters of the science of consciousness have perceived on this subject. Sri Aurobindo Says in a beautiful poem:
“Atom and molecule in their
Buttress an edifice of
Crystal and plant, insect and beast and man
Man on whom the world-unity
This is something similar to the perception of the scientific minds which we have quoted earlier. But Sri Aurobindo wrote this poem in 1890-92, when science of ecology was not even born and there are no such perceptions in the scientific mind. Similarly in another passage in his book Life Divine; Sri Aurobindo says:
“The tree and its process (which makes the tree) would not be what they are, could not indeed exist, if it were a separate existence; form are what they by the force of the cosmic existence; they develop as they are as a result of their relation to it and to all its other manifestations. The separate law of their nature is only an application of the universal truth of all Nature; their particular development is determined by their place in the general development.”
So if this law of interconnected unity is such an all pervading law, then we can safely assume that it exists also at the DNA level of biological matter. This means the DNA of each individual organism is related to the DNA of all the other organism or in other words the DNA of each organism is determined by the DNA of all other organism; the law of evolution or development of a particular DNA or organism is determined by the law or evolution of all the other DNA and the universal laws which governs the gene-pool or bio-diversity of biological Nature.
But the science of biology has not yet discovered this interlinking genetic unity between all organisms. Biologists talk about the “gene-pool” of all organisms, but the genetic unity is something more than a common gene-pool. The science of consciousness of ancient India posits a universal vital energy called as Prana, as the source of life in the human body and in the physical, biological and animal Nature.
In our earlier discussion on the science of Matter, we have arrived at a perception “an indivisible oneness of a subtle material-etheric energy pervaded by a consciousness is probably the primal source of Matter”. Similarly we may say that an indivisible oneness of a universal vital energy pervaded by a consciousness is the source of biological energy in the DNA, plant, insect, animal and in our human body. This consciousness manifests itself as the? the hidden intelligence in the DNA and in the various form of biological organism, as the vital instinct in the plant and in the animal, like for example the intelligence behind photosynthesis or the marvellous building skills displayed by some birds in making their nests; as the intelligence which sustains the cells and organs in our human body.
The scientific and secular mind may say “Oh all these are part of Nature”, but such statements explain nothing. What is precisely “Nature”? If she or it is a material energy, how she is endowed with such a prodigious imagination, creativity and intelligence?
However in Sri Aurobindo’s integral vision, Life is not merely biological but has a psychological dimension. In human beings life is vital energy. All forms of emotions, desire, intensity, enthusiasm, energetic action and the urge for power, wealth enjoyment, relationship conquest, achievement and expansion are the expression of this life-force or vital energy in us. Both the biological and psychological dimensions of vital energy are the expression of a universal vital energy. In our human organism our individual vital force is only a part or an outlet for the universal vital energy. In the outer world, the economic, social and political life of our human race is the collective expression of this vital force in us.
In other words, it is One Life in myriad forms in the stone, plant, animal and the man, linked together in an interdependent unity. We may recall the verse from Sri Aurobindo’s poem which we have quoted earlier “crystal and plant, insect and beast and man” linked together by a “strange oneness”. Modern science of life is yet to arrive at this unity and oneness of life, though here and there a glimpse of it is caught by the more intuitive scientific minds like for example, thinkers of deep ecology. Technology and globalism have created a sense of outer connectivity and interdependence of human life, especially in the economic and social sphere. But the unity, connectedness and interdependence of Life as a whole and inherent in all life, is not yet perceived with clarity by the modern scientific mind. This unity of Life itself is only a more outward expression of the oneness of Consciousness. The eternal creative energy of the one indivisible and infinite consciousness, expressing itself in a myriad diversity of Life, but linked together by an underlying, interdependent and interconnected unity, is the great, fundamental truth of life perceived by the Masters of the Science of Consciousness.